Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
The boys and I are fully charged and ready as the feed comes in from Orlando. There is a bit of everything this week. Your author may need a shrink’s couch by the time he’s done here. Until then, let’s have a good time. This week’s Impact Wrestling starts with Eli Drake headed to the ring holding his Tag Team Championship in one hand and the remaining briefcase in the other. He says that Scott Steiner is off this week taking steroids and getting taken care of. While cutting his typical heel promo and making fun of The World Champion’s catch phrase, The Self-Induced Hyphen flat out tells everyone when he will cash in his opportunity for The Impact World Championship. His chance will come next week. This impending challenge brings Pentagon Jr. to the ring. The proud representative of Lucha Underground hasn’t said much in The States. He doesn’t need to: “Cero Miedo!” LET’S GO!
It felt like three promos were sandwiched together strangely. The first of these just needed a single camera shot with no sound to elicit a simultaneous one-word scream from the robots, “WHY?” Hold on you two, it gets worse from here. No need to fry your circuits early. Their guttural reaction came from seeing Joseph Park back with his stupid lawyer gimmick talking to the only guy who has been presented as more helpless than him in Impact Wrestling history. There is a reason I’m being gender-specific here. You’ll find out what that is later. Meanwhile, someone in Orlando decided to bring Grado back. Although, he says that he is married now. When Park asks him to produce a photo of his wife, he is unable. PC Little Dragon’s request is simple: “They better bring a decent Knockout in to make this watchable.” I agree.
Cut to Moose being interviewed backstage. He is asked to reinforce his stance on being called “Mr. Impact Wrestling.” As expected, he relates it back to being in The NFL and says he must live up to his promise made when the calendar flipped to 2018. What’s not expected? Jimmy Jacobs saunters up to the mic, asking why Moose would want “Impact” in his name since the last performer with that distinction was destroyed by his Giant Stutter. Unafraid of competition, Moose picks up The Dragged-Out Disco by his jacket, telling The New Monster to bring his big ass next week! This could be FUN!
Don’t worry, the next segment led to something in the ring. Even though it wouldn’t start there. We find one of our newest Knockouts cutting a promo saying her Redemption might be late, but it is still coming. Unfortunately, Kiera Hogan is interrupted. Despite the rumors, we didn’t recognize the intruder until she was a good bit through her unrequested introduction. She mentioned something about being “A Total Package.” Was it really HER? YES MA’AM! This is the second authentic “Horse Woman” in a major promotion in the US. This is Tessa Blanchard! “Tessa, I think your Daddy would tell you not to borrow anything from Luger!” AI Hercules said. Hogan’s rematch with Taya Valkyrie was thrown out when Tully’s Daughter jumped in the ring to make a physical statement. She is no rookie. She is in great shape, and she is HERE!
We need to come down from that. How do we do it? With OVE taking on the strange pairing of KM & Fallah Bahh. The Ohio Funhouse was without their backup. Quick aside: Sami Callahan is still out of commission. Tommy Dreamer was seen bailing Eddie Edwards out of jail while attempting to counsel him in a later video. Little Dragon asks: “Can they just end this storyline already?” Laughing, I shake my head and tell him this is wrestling, and they will probably drag it out another month. Back to the tag match. The Odd Couple had early success throwing their weight around, but the twosome lost when Fallah missed a corner splash and got rolled up with a schoolboy for the pin.
Next, they go from tape to tape. First, a quick refresher on the unique everything that is Brian Cage. Then, Impact ships us to Australia. Why not? The Machine has a showcase match Down Under. He is in there with FOUR dudes! AI Hercules smirks: “Who are these glorified dumb bells?” Don Callis; who is quickly growing on me, said that athletes like Cage use matches like this to test themselves and get a workout. After having his fun, Cage destroys an opponent with his spinning lariat and driver. Both maneuvers have the word “Claw” in their description. Callis actually called his lariat “The Tornado Claw.” YES SIR! If I didn’t know better, I’d say there is a young performer who respects history! Indulge me a moment. If my readers could send prayers out to The Islands, they would be appreciated. There was a massive earthquake in Hawaii recently. Kevin Von Erich and his family live out there. Please send positive vibes Aloha Way. The Islands need them, Thanks!
Back to programming. Please forgive us, Sometimes, neither me or my robot friends know how to describe Cruiserweight/X Division matches. Don’t misunderstand us; Impact does a MUCH better job presenting these athletes than New York, and we love watching them. Little Dragon has a question though: “What hurts? I don’t wanna sound like Cornette, but it does come across like a spot fest with six guys dancing…Rosa might kill me for saying that. But her stuff LOOKS like it hurts!” Seriously, there were three memorable spots in the 6-Man Lucha Rules Match, and two of them were gymnastics. The other was A Rockersesque Flying Double Dropkick that WASN’T the finish! Looked great, sounded better. Keep going?? Ishimori took his shot at X Division Gold so seriously that he is now in Japan as a member of The Bullet Club. It’s beautiful to watch, but the logic is maddening. Can someone get me off the couch?
Better yet, I’ll just stay here and unplug the robots for the final segment, WATCH THIS! Su Yung is not a wrestler. She is portrayed as a weightlifting mime with mind control over six girls. She has ONE MOVE plus red mist and asks to be taken seriously? Get off the PCP and come down here young lady. Once again, I’m aware that I am not the measuring stick. That’s not the point. Mark Calloway kicks ass and does not appear helpless alone. She is NOT The Female Undertaker. It is not the mist either. The Great Muta could kick asses around the world for decades. So can Rosemary herself. No one laughs at her mist. All the indie sheep in the world screaming your name, singing your praises FOR THIS?? Pardon me, if six girls do 75% of your work, why is Impact paying you? What reason is there to suspend our disbelief? Your makeup? A wrestling ring? Sorry, no one believes that a walking B movie buried a top draw. You didn’t bury anybody. If the goal is to bring new fans in and not have outsiders laugh at us for loving professional wrestling, then you fail. Impact brought you in as a human hotshot, and they suck for doing so. They did succeed in one thing though. I finally have a good reason to respect Joey Ryan. Come on sheep, I’ll move Mt. Everest everyday over this one! Whatcha got? I sincerely hope the robots and I don’t throw up over next week’s episode of Impact. We can make no promises.
Dear Smarks: WWE Does Listen To Fans
Either last week or earlier this week (my days are running together so I don’t remember), Stephanie McMahon was at a summit called ‘Game Changer’ and she made the following comment: ‘We’re successful for one reason only – we listen to our fans.’
The internet smarks ROASTED Stephanie over this comment, mocking her for claiming that WWE listens to their fans when, in their minds, that is clearly not the case. Why? Because Roman Reigns, not Braun Strowman is champion, among other things. Clearly, any company that makes Roman Reigns champion over Braun Strowman isn’t listening to their fans, or at least, their REAL fans. You know, the all-knowing, smark community who know how to run a multi-billion dollar business better than the people who work there do.
I’ve tackled this ‘Real fan’ nonsense in the past and I’m really not in the mood to do it now and the issue of Braun Strowman being champion is an article unto itself. However, let’s be clear here: WWE DOES listen to their fans and the fans they listen to are the fans that buy stuff.
WWE first, last, always, and forever, is a business. They need money to survive and being a publicly traded company, they need money to keep the shareholders happy, that means they have to know who and what makes the money to keep the shareholders happy and keep the company afloat and who is making them the most money is Roman Reigns.
Don’t give me that look. Don’t roll your eyes at me and grumble about him being over pushed and/or shoved down your throat. I can name several people in WWE not named Roman Reigns that are over pushed. The bottom line is that Reigns moves merchandise, his stuff sells and sells really well. Having been to a few WWE TV/PPV tapings, I can tell you that Reigns’ stuff can get a little tough to find and is usually the most requested item.
Now before any of you make snide comments about Reigns having more stuff to sell, I checked WWE’s shop are and compared the number of Roman Reigns shirts to the number of shirts for AJ Styles, in terms of shirts including: T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and what’s available for both genders, Roman Reigns had thirteen shirts available while Styles had twenty. Thirteen different shirt designs to twenty and that doesn’t include hats, gloves, or the non-wearable stuff available.
Oh, Reigns’ stuff is bought by women and kids, so it shouldn’t count? Here’s my question: So what? It’s still money that SOMEONE is spending on merchandise. If WWE didn’t want women and kids to buy their stuff, they wouldn’t be marketing stuff for women and kids. Why? Because women and kids are FANS!
For those of you still grumbling, here’s some food for your thoughts: Why should WWE listen to their ‘real’ fans? No, I’m serious. Why should they listen to fans who cheer something one week, boo it the next, demand that indy darlings get pushed despite getting mediocre pops from Main Roster audiences, and pay more attention to beach balls and time clocks than the matches? Why should they listen to people who BRAG about spending a lot of money on tickets just to boo one person they don’t like?
WWE is like any company, they listen with their bottom line, and what they’re hearing from fans is that the fans like Reign because that’s the stuff that sells the best. And before you say one thing about about Reigns’ stuff being more available at TV tapings and Live Events, I’ve been to a RAW taping, a RAW PPV, and a SmackDown/205 taping and while Reigns stuff was at SmackDown, there was also a lot of Styles and Cena stuff available at RAW events and I’m not hearing any complaining about that.
Maybe the problem isn’t that WWE isn’t listening, it’s just that your views aren’t the what the majority paying fans think or want. WWE is catering to what most of their fans want, not just the small minority that can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want.
Cheap Shots: Should Finn Balor Quit WWE?
Why Finn Balor should “Quit” The WWE
After seeing KO burst into tears on Monday night RAW two weeks ago and “quit” there were a slew of videos about why KO “quit”. The biggest one was to revitalize his character. So in playing the devils advocate why not have the first Universal Champion quit? Here’s why!
After Balor won and “lost” the title after 2016 SummerSlam he’s had and up and down career in the main roster. The once longest reigning NXT champion was a phenomenon when he joined the NXT, but once he hit the main roster, while fan support is still there it is fleeting. He had a brief reunion with Gallows and Anderson which might’ve singled a heel turn to fans, a feud with Rollins for the IC title and has had back to back to back matches against Baron Corbin. None of which have done anything for the superstars character. A heel turn might have helped a few months ago, but the repetitive booking has kind of killed that momentum.
With Finn away from the scene for a while it might help the WWE reevaluate the talent that is Finn Balor, it might also give Finn time to figure himself out too. With a WIN to his name against Elias, it seems like the co-founder of the Bullet Club may either turn to his alter ego The Demon, or perhaps a superstar shakeup is in order and he should be in place to get Balor back in the limelight. Right now, Raw seems packed full of main card talent that is either starting a faction of sorts I.E. Braun, Drew and Dolph or is turning on The Shield.
Listen, while SmackDown Live is producing the better show, it is not like the talent on there is being utilized any better. Nakamura is in limbo with the U.S. title, Aj and Joe are having a great feud in terms of promos, but not in the squared circle. The only thing that brings SmackDown Live as the A show is really their tag division and the Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch feud.
So maybe a frustrated Finn goes away, and comes back as The Demon on SmackDown Live and interjects himself in the feud between AJ and Joe, maybe he causes friction between The Club and AJ and they “screw over” AJ during a title match, the possibilities are endless moving Balor to team blue, but what this boils down to is WWE needs to make this move while Balor is still a fan favourite and what I mean by that is that he will always have the crowd behind him, but even the loyalist fans can get bored.